Cleaning question


August 6, 2003, 01:32 PM
Last year I got my first revolver (semi fan), it's a Ruger Bird’s Head .32 Single Six. Now I'm sure y'all know that I can use shorts or longs in it...

Now my problem is this. I used all the shorts that I got with it and then went to use the longs. No problem shooting them but clearing the empties was a whole other ballgame. There was so much schmutz in the cylinders that I had to take it apart and get a screw driver to force them out.

Can't remember what it's called but David has this patch of material (kinda waxy feeling) that is supposed to take out the schmutz but it doesn't seem to do the trick completely.. I tried cleaning with a brass bore brush first then using that other thing and it's just not clean enough to me...

Now the questions...

1) how/what should I use/do to REALLY clean it up good (I am a stickler for clean)

2) what do I do about this problem, Only use longs? Only use shorts? seems kinda wrong to be limited like that when the variety is available...

Remember that I'm still kind of a noob (as evidenced by the terms I use :D ) at all this so don't get to technical on me..

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Pappy John
August 6, 2003, 01:47 PM
I'm another stickler for clean and yes, you probably should shoot one or the other....its a lot easier. You're experiencing the same cleaning problem that .44 mag shooters have with .44 specials and .357 mag shooters have with .38 specials. The shorter rounds leave a burn ring in the chamber where the case lip was that's a real bugger to clean off thoroughly and if you go to the longer cases before cleaning this ring, the cases stick....and you're getting higher pressures also.

On top of that, when you fired the longer cases over top of the burn ring the pressure really smashed it into the inside of the chamber.....making it even harder to clean than it would have otherwise been. Powder solvent, bronze brush, lots of elbow'll come out eventually.

4v50 Gary
August 6, 2003, 01:49 PM
Wrap cooper wire mesh (Chore Boy) around an old bronze bristle brush. That cleans out the cylinder really well.

As for the long & the short of it, I'd use long. It stands to reason that with a short, the lead has to travel further and leave more lead in its wake.

I wouldn't worry about it once you get the scrubbing down with Chore Boy.

August 6, 2003, 02:21 PM
I take a nylon bore brush and a short rod and use a hand drill to spin it inside the cylinder tubes. I cut small strips of that green pot scrubber mesh stuff and wrap it around the bore brush (force it into it it) and stuff it in the cylinder and then spin it a bit. Takes a ton of hand scrubbing to get those burn rings out.

August 6, 2003, 04:24 PM
Make up a batch of "Ed's Red". Toss the cylinder in, cover, soak for a day. The crud should brush out easily then.

August 6, 2003, 07:05 PM
.357 mag shooters have with .38 specials.

I remember David saying this happens with his when I was showing him the cylinder.

As for the long & the short of it

no pun intended right... :D

"Ed's Red"

Never heard of it, what is it?

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I don't mind needing a little elbow grease but dang.... I worked on it for a long time and got most of it out but there was some residual stuff left... I'll try out some of the things you suggested and then I think I'll stick with the .32 longs...

August 6, 2003, 07:55 PM
Do they make a Lewis Lead Remover for .32?? My kit only has .38/.357 and .44/.45. If they do make it for .32, then that would be the answer. Quantrill

Standing Wolf
August 6, 2003, 08:32 PM
Remove the cylinder, and soak it overnight in any reputable cleaning solvent. Attack the cylinder bores the next day with a bronze bristle brush.

One of the advantages of loading your own ammunition is that you can load shorter cartridge loads in longer cartridge cases. I've just finished a batch of very light .38 special target loads in .357 magnum cases.

Al Thompson
August 6, 2003, 09:20 PM
Use the brass brush, but chuck it in a drill. I'd use a good brass polish and have fun. Neither the brass brush or the polish will harm the steel.

August 6, 2003, 10:42 PM
Usually works.
Just shove a fired empty longer case in each hole. The expanded mouth cuts the crud right out.

Works on all the short/long critters. Spec n Mag etc. .44 .357 .32 .22 etc.


August 7, 2003, 12:08 AM
Ed's Red
The all purpose, do anything concoction used by shooters. You can use it to clean or cut it and use it as a gun oil.

1 part Dextron II or III (automotive transmission fluid)
1 part Kerosene (Kroil is a good substitute)
1 part Turpentine

Start with the trans fluid, add the kerosene (I much perfer Kroil) and stir, add the turpentine and stir. Store in suitable container (heavy plastic or tupperware works great), tightly cover.
If you are a shotgunner, add 1 part acetone to the mixture and it eats the plastic fouling. If you make a batch with acetone be sure to use a container that can handle acetone and tightly seal as acetone will evaporate if left open.

May sound like hell if you have never heard of it, but it is derived from a formula used in the Frankfort Arsenal.

There is a Ed's Red Plus that cleans copper fouling. If you want that receipe just give me a holla.

August 7, 2003, 12:50 AM
Thanks Sam,

That's a great idea and I'm going to try it for my .38/357's even though in that caliber the Lewis Lead remover works great also.


August 7, 2003, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the recipe Majic....

It won't mess up the finish by leaving it in overnight will it? Mine has a really cool "paint job" (case coloring) that I really don't want to screw up...

I'll definitely try that Sam... I"m sure if it doesn't get it all out it will get the majority of it off...

Thanks again for all the suggestions, I really appreciate them...

August 7, 2003, 01:44 PM
Shot about 100k rounds of .38sp through my .357's, so I am an old veteran of the "burn ring" wars:

1) It isn't lead, it is "flame broiled" hard carbon. A lead removing agent won't touch it.

2) Soaking overnight in various solvents won't touch it.

Bottom line, is it is a very hard carbon substance (maybe like diamond?) and it has the character of being fused to the surface of the steel. It doesn't chip off or brush off, it literally has to be "ground" off.

If it isn't too bad, a mild polish like chrome polish on a nylon bore brush is a good cleaner. Spin with your hand drill.

On really bad stuff, I had to resort to the green pot scrubber stuff wrapped on the bore brush to give extra push and scrub action.

If anybody ever actually comes up with something that will loosen this without scrubbing (without dissolving the steel), it will be worth it's weight in gold.

August 7, 2003, 06:51 PM
It don't effect blue steel or true case colors. The new secretive case colors makers are using I don't know about. Definately don't use the mix with acteone in it on suspected painted surfaces or polymers. Acetone is what dissolves paint in paint thinner (also your nail polish remover if you use any). Acetone will also remove any glue.

August 7, 2003, 11:35 PM
I like to use CorrosionX and soak it overnight - Kroil or any other super-penetrating oil will probably also work. Then in the cylinder chambers use the brush for the next caliber up - for the 32 Mag try a brass brush for a 338 rifle. The 32 caliber brush is for a barrel that's .312" - your cylinder chamber is at least .334" (case diameter) and is probably a little bigger. The tighter fit of the bigger brush makes the scrubbing a lot more effective.

August 8, 2003, 12:28 PM
I like to use CorrosionX and soak it overnight I don't know why I didn't think of that... I have cases and cases of the stuff in my garage... My very good friend, who happens to be living with us right now, was the So Ca. rep...

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